Democrats should be less boring

Democrats face a dire midterm in 2022. If the party’s business-as-usual strategy keeps falling flat, it might be time to reflect on the success of the GOP’s political postmodernism. Democrats should consider that politics, rather than being about a short list of predetermined issues, can really be about anything at all. Political narratives don’t have to stick to tried-and-true positioning around health care, immigration or taxes. They just have to tell a good story.

Plenty of potent civic sentiments are available. The desire to defend community and democracy — whether against creeping disease, conquering foreign despots or far-right insurrection — reaches across countless demographic groups. Support for fundamental values like fairness and patriotism is shared as widely as any policy preference. From civil rights and racial injustice to prohibition and abolitionism, American history is packed full of intrinsically moral causes that galvanized the public, both quickly and slowly. Nor should negative sentiments be written off. Nobody likes a crooked politician, and public fury over injustice or graft has driven many votes in the past. And few emotions motivate people as well as fear — like the fear of unelected judges eliminating basic reproductive rights.

Some Democrats seem to have figured this out. Barack Obama’s successful campaigns leaned heavily on themes of inspiration and forward progress, dovetailing with his own oratory and the gravity of his personal presence. In the 2020 Georgia Senate runoff, Jon Ossoff successfully hammered David Perdue’s perceived corruption, a tactic Democrats have ample opportunity to wield against Trump and his allies.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Video